Massacre in Peru: Democracy at war against the peoples

By: Raúl Zibechi

“In the Andes massacres follow one another
with the rhythm of the seasons.
There are four in the world; in the Andes there are five:
spring, summer, autumn, winter and massacre.”
Manuel Scorza

On January 4, a regional strike began in the country’s south, which had been interrupted in December by the Christmas holidays. More than 60 road blocks (especially in Cusco, Apurimac, Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Puno), demanding elections in 2023 and the resignation of Congress, which has only 8% support in the population.

On January 9, tens of thousands of Aymara community members entered the city of Juliaca, the largest in the department of Puno, in a peaceful demonstration that was repressed from helicopters with tear gas and from the ground by police who fired bullets that exploded in bodies (https://bit.ly/3GBlOw2 ). In addition, police fired gas at nurses and medical personnel who attempted to treat the wounded, beat doctors and firefighters and according to some reports stole medicines.

The result was 17 deaths, adding up to a total of 48 killed since Pedro Castillo’s former vice president, Dina Boluarte, assumed the presidency. Almost all the deaths happened in three hours, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., according to detailed accounts by the newspaper La República. To the dead must be added around 300 wounded, including children and journalists, especially in the regions of the Quechua and Aymara peoples of Apurímac, Ayacucho, Puno and Arequipa.

These are the crimes of Peruvian democracy, of a political caste that has always governed the country from a racist State “whose decomposition Fujimorism initiated, continued with the other governments, parties and businessmen corrupted by Odebrecht, and that today murder to continue in the distribution of power,” as a statement from social organizations points out.

These are crimes endorsed by a parliament that is corrupt to the core. Proof of this is that the plenary session of Congress shielded, on the same day, the parliamentarian Freddy Díaz who is investigated by the Public Ministry for the sexual rape of a Legislative worker in his own office (https://bit.ly/3X0mJ08).

Hours later, the same Congress gave a vote of confidence to a government that carries more than 40 deaths on its back and when the Prosecutor’s Office is beginning to investigate the president, the prime minister and the ministers of Interior and Defense, for “crimes of genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries committed during the demonstrations of the months of December 2022 and January 2023 in the regions of Apurimac,  La Libertad, Puno, Junín, Arequipa and Ayacucho” (https://bit.ly/3CBFUVW).

What is called democracy, are totalitarian states in the Andes where only the heirs of the landowners, today mafia businessmen who dominate the media and illicit economies, can govern. That is why a military coup is not necessary in Peru, because the media (in particular television) are absolutely controlled, don’t report on massacres and refer to protesters as “terrorists.”

Under these conditions, new elections will only guarantee the continuity of authoritarian and corrupt governments, as has been the case since the 1980s, a situation aggravated by the current dominance of mafia economies.

If it were true, as Noam Chomsky has just pointed out, that “a better world is within our reach” and that “Another world is possible,” we should reflect on what paths to take to get closer to that goal.

The Amazonian peoples grouped in Aidesep (Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle) are mobilizing against the government, like the other peoples of Peru. But they also point towards the creation of autonomous territorial governments (as Wampis and Awajún have already done), because they consider that it is the only way to stop this model of death that we call extractivism. A model that is supported by criminal states with democratic veneers and armed gangs, legal and illegal, that govern the territories of mining, gold extraction, forest clearing and cocaine laboratories.

Previous analyses regarding Peru:

Luis Hernández Navarro: https://chiapas-support.org/2022/12/24/peru-the-language-of-the-street/

Manolo De Los Santos: https://chiapas-support.org/2022/12/15/the-peruvian-oligarchy-overthrew-president-castillo/

Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformemonos, Wednesday, January 11, 2023, https://desinformemonos.org/masacre-en-peru-la-democracia-en-guerra-contra-los-pueblos/ and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

One Comment on “Massacre in Peru: Democracy at war against the peoples

  1. Pingback: Massacre in Peru: ‘Democracy’ at War against the Peoples – Raúl Zibechi – The Free

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: